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Freedom of the PRESS
Social scientists believe that every individual has a right to be heard, including a free press. By press it means all the mass communication methods that actually function to date, but newspaper or print media is the oldest of them all. Free press means right to publish “RIGHT “or “WRONG”. As it is said “Any news is better then no news at all”. Theory of Locke, Milton, Mill, Paine and other 17th- and 18th-century thinkers unleashed a total free and unfettered exchange of ideas. The ideology which supported the theory presumed individual rational thinking and freedom of though with freedom of speech. Press today and in past has upheld many social institutes such as family, religion, education, leisure and. political arena and there examples are before us, today mocking of religion among media has become very common and stereotyping religion is disgustingly vulgar. Take Pakistan for example the growing disparities of the 5 provinces of this country have teared apart the mutual solidarity and patriotism among nationalist and media played its satanicrole in disintegrating the situation further. Everyday one see shameless television shows mocking a Pathan, a Punjabi, a Sindhi or a Balochi. Evidently they cannot have a positive impact on the viewers, maybe for point in time one would laugh and find it a good way of taking off the stress, but ultimately he would somehow recall how media portrayed the particular individual with distinctive personality and traits and might even allow it to knead his mind. Press might be free to speak but unfortunately it falls pray to the big fishes in sea that have established publications from years and have masses of readers and viewers loyalty. People complain that they lack the awareness to what is legal and illegal in the world of press? In US a police officer was videotaped by a lady who was later charged with “obstruction of justice for arguing with a police officer”, but unfortunately as it turned out the police officer was at false. Videotaping a police officer or anyone else in a public place is perfectly legal in New York states. Tools like YOUTUBE FACEBOOK and TWITTER have turned everyone into a social blogger or citizen journalist, using cell phone anyone can become a new provider. Our professional journalists are not threatened by these unprofessional journalist yet they do prove to be sources of reliable information.
Establishing law regarding freedom of media is in the hand of the government, they say your state is democratic but do not define democracy? USA has put forward the first amendment for freedom of the press which follows the universal declaration of human rights. This declaration regards the depth of the freedom of opinion and speech abiding the countries constitution. In a world full of culture and diversity not very one has the same rules and laws about right n wrong in press, some organizations or group have maintained there own set of laws. Reporters without borders is one of them, this law is there to protect the journalist by foreign problem, killing of reporters murders, harassment or state of monopoly. CJP (Committee to protect journalist) is another known law, this law provides freedom of fact/ information finding for the journalists, they are allowed a firsthand contact in the field including the locals and those working international this is the reason we see journalists on every disaster site, or on political conferences, at hospitals, in universities and in even poking there nose around the slam dwellers just in search of a STORY! CJP shares information of breaking news through an international freedom of expression exchange, which is global e-mail network. CJP supports investigation against the death or imprisonment of any journalist. Another concerning body of group for press is the FREEDOM HOUSE. Freedom house studies the general political or economical environment of a nation so that there is an actual fit between the independence of press and the prevailing theories for it.
To determine freedom of the press in country reporters without borders (RWB) all around the world have established the “World wide press freedom index”. This give a ranking of countries among freedom press the survey is based on the information provided by the partners of RWB and the related specialist and human right activist. The survey covers areas such as harassment of press and pressure against press The RWB is very careful about only dealing with the free press and not affecting the quality of press. According to the 2010 index the countries on top ranking were Finland, Iceland, and Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The countries which had appalling level of results were Eritrea, followed by North Korea, Turkmenistan, Iran and Myanmar (Burma).
Press functions in a society having no boundaries or wall. The role it plays in human minds is far from reaching .In a society such as Pakistan where literacy rate 58% not everyone understands or is able to differentiate between right and wrong information for some it merely matters if it is right or wrong as long as it favors there mental capacity they would opt to believe it.
Freedom of press has not just been victimized by the current government, but it goes back to times of Nawaz sharif and Musharaf. Seemingly every government including those which I have not mentioned have there resentment against press. Pakistan is a democratic state but it is an unbalanced country which has faced many kinds of power at variable times. In short Pakistan is a democratic nation with a big BUT. At the times of Nawaz sharif many journalist were harassed and threatened for taking part in the BBC (British broadcasting corporations) documentary, correspondent in dealing with the corruption of the existing government, also the business concerns of the prime minister. Journalist who took part in that activity was interrogated many a times. Another during the rule of Musharaf dawn was one of the victims. Dawn had not been allowed to function its English language new channel despite the fact the court had passed had ordered to grant the license therefore dawn official put forward a plead. This plead had a negative impact upon the government and as a result there were fewer publication by the government in the dawn news. The attempt for the journalist for telling the story of their own people are been squashed only to but veil over the corrupt minds of our politicians. If our press was given the respect which it deserves today our nation would have been much more peace. Today Pakistani press has become vulgar, unpredictable and aggressive. Late night talk shows, news papers, radio, e-news none put up a good picture. This disintegration between press and government has lessened the bonds and a sense of unity among individuals of Pakistan. Like our politicians our journalists also like to word in the grey areas for obvious reasons but our politicians our illiterates why do our journalists join the club intentionally? As it is more damaging and dangerous for Pakistan’s wellbeing.